F-doped SnO2 (FTO) nanocrystals modified by Er and Yb with upconversion capability and excellent catalytic properties have been designed and fabricated as an economic replacement for Pt for use as the counter electrode (CE) in dye-sensitized solar cells. The cost of the UC-FTO counter electrode is only ∼1/20th of that for Pt. The upconverted luminescence-mediated energy transfer and the superior catalytic property for I3-/I- circulation overpowered the slight degradation caused by increased CE/electrolyte interface resistance. A 23.9% enhancement in photocurrent was achieved with little degradation in photovoltage, resulting in a 9.12% increase in solar-to-electric power conversion efficiency. Near-infrared (NIR) light-to-electricity has been directly observed by SPS and IPCE characterizations, showing the effect of the upconversion counter electrode.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)